Serco Group (SRP) has won a new 12-year contract to run education and children’s services in Walsall.
The deal, an extension of contracts that have been in place since 2001, is valued at about £345 million, Serco said.
It said the 12-year term reflected the success it has had in helping to improve Walsall’s under-performing education service.
Under the new contract, Serco will work with the the town council “to ensure that children and young people achieve the best possible educational outcomes, and also to provide support to the most vulnerable children and their families”.
Serco will provide education support services to the council and the town’s 119 schools and other stakeholders.
The international service company will also introduce a number of new initiatives intended to support and contribute to Walsall’s economic and social regeneration.
These include supporting a Business Incubation centre, an apprenticeship scheme, and the location of up to 200 other Serco posts within the borough.
The company said its partnership with Walsall Council has achieved considerable improvements. The most recent annual performance
assessment judged both the services provided and the capacity to improve to be “good” - the second highest performance categor.
Also, a recent joint area review assessed services for children and young people in Walsall to have shown sustained improvement, with the services provided by Serco judged to be in a “strong state”.
Serco chief executive Christopher Hyman said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Walsall Council. This 12 year award reflects the substantial improvement in performance the council and Serco have achieved together and also the council’s confidence in our ability to deliver over the long term.
“There is great potential for us to bring innovation to the services we provide that will further improve education and children’s services in the area.”
Serco’s shares dipped 3p to close at 414p.
In a separate development, the company will soon learn whether its bid to win a huge contract to run the UK’s biggest nuclear site, Sellafield in Cumbria, has been successful.
The company has joined forces with Babcock & Wilcox of the US to fight for the contract, which is expected to be worth £1.3 billion a year.